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Death penalty not sought against former NOPD officer in Henry Glover shooting
Aug-06-2010 1108 0


The Justice Department doesn't intend to seek the death penalty against a former New Orleans police officer charged with fatally shooting a man in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

The car in which Henry Glover's body was found on the Algiers Point levee shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

A court filing Thursday discloses that decision in the case against David Warren, who allegedly shot and killed 31-year-old Henry Glover before his charred body turned up in a burned car after the 2005 storm.

Warren and four other current and former New Orleans officers pleaded not guilty in June to federal charges. One of the two charges against Warren -- depravation of rights under color of law -- carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

The charges against former Lt. Robert Italiano, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, Lt. Travis McCabe and Officer Gregory McRae include obstruction of justice.



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Rocco Parascandola Jul-31-2014 58 0
A Brooklyn cop crossed the line when he cracked a suspect in the head with a baton, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Officer Keith Dsouza violated NYPD guidelines and used unjustified and potentially deadly physical force against Ryan Scails when he and his partner busted him for public urination in Red Hook on July 5, 2012, said Heather Cook, a Civilian Complaint Review Board prosecutor.

“There was never a deadly physical force threat to these officers — never,” Cook said at Dsouza’s administrative trial at NYPD headquarters.

“[Dsouza] hit him in the head, and he knew he wasn’t supposed to him in the head. He got in more than one whack on his head.”

Scails filed a complaint with the CCRB, which substantiated it, leading to the trial.

Dsouza, who has seven years on the force and could lose at least a week’s pay if found guilty, testified he and his partner, Officer Fernando Lopes, chased Scails for three blocks after they saw him relieving himself against a building. He said Scails resisted arrest and prevented Lopes from handcuffing him.

But he said he used his collapsible baton properly, hitting Scails in the arm, shoulder and leg.

“Never touched his head,” Dsouza said.

Grainy surveillance video is at the center of the case. It shows Lopes slamming Scails a into a wall, then using his 250-pound frame to smother the 155-pound suspect.

Dsouza is seen repeatedly striking Scails with his baton, but the video does not conclusively show that any of those blows landed on Scails’ head. Cook, however, argued otherwise.

After Scails was handcuffed, he was covered in blood, Cook said.

Scails, a 24-year-old arts student at the time, needed stitches to repair wounds on his right leg and behind his right ear. The charges against him — resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public urination — were later dismissed.

In addition to the CCRB complaint, he filed a civil rights lawsuit, which is pending.

He testified he was wrong to have run from police but that when he stopped fleeing and gave up Lopes pinned him to the ground on the left side of his body, and he was unable to free his hand to fully surrender.

“I was trying give them my hands, but also trying not to be hit,” he said.

Scails said he had four or five beers at a July 4 house party in Prospect Heights. He then went to bar in Red Hook, but left without having another drink, and was on his way home to Park Slope when he decided to make an illegal pit stop.

“I felt violated,” he said of the encounter with police, after he had testified. “I still do.”

Lopes was not accused of wrongdoing; Cook said he used the proper amount of force.

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Oren Yaniv Jul-31-2014 113 0
Brooklyn's top lawman declared a man who wrongfully served nearly 16 years in prison for killing a rabbi “innocent” — an unusually strong statement that could seal the deal on a lawsuit settlement.

“I believe Jabbar Collins is innocent,” District Attorney Kenneth Thompson told the Daily News Editorial Board Tuesday. “A travesty of justice happened in that case.”

Collins had his 1995 conviction tossed in 2010, leading to an ongoing $150 million federal suit that brought to light alleged misconduct by the office of former DA Charles Hynes.

“It’s a remarkable statement,” said Collins’ lawyer, Joel Rudin. “You almost never get city officials to make this kind of statement.”

Thompson made the Collins case a central issue during his contentious campaign last year, but he referred to him as “likely wrongfully imprisoned,” never “innocent.”

He also refrained from using that term while clearing seven murder defendants since taking office whose convictions he had deemed faulty.

“I think there needs to be an accounting in terms of what happened in that case,” he said of Collins’ conviction that was obtained after prosecutor and Hynes’ top lieutenant Michael Vecchione allegedly coerced witnesses and withheld evidence.

“We need to know the truth,” Thompson said.

Collins’ civil case may be settled in the coming days as the two sides engage in furious negotiations.

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AP Jul-30-2014 118 0
An 8-year-old boy who was sleeping early Wednesday died after a bullet fired from outside went through the home's wall and into his bedroom, hitting him, Detroit police said.


The child was struck once about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Brewster Homes complex on Detroit's east side, Officer Adam Madera said, and pronounced dead about 45 minutes later at Children's Hospital of Michigan.

"He was sleeping in his room and gunshots were fired from outside," Madera said.

No arrests were immediately made, but Detroit police were speaking with a "person of interest" in the case, Madera said. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday, Wayne County medical examiner's office spokeswoman Mary Mazur said.

The boy's name wasn't released by police, but The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press identify him as Jakari Pearson.

Grief-stricken relatives declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press. But next door neighbor Tenesha Higgins said there were "five or six" very loud booms — something she said is common in the public housing complex several miles northeast of downtown.

"I was just laying down to sleep," said Higgins, 30. "I heard the gunshots. It sounded like it was literally in front of the house. I waited, then I heard screaming and police sirens.

"I opened the door and the boy was laying in the street," she said, adding it appeared the mother's boyfriend was trying to rush him to the hospital.

"He was a good boy," Higgins said. "He liked to play baseball."

Neighbors and passers-by started a makeshift memorial of stuffed bears, dogs and other toy animals on the front porch of the home. Propped on the toys were handwritten cardboard signs that read: "CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE!" ''GIVE OUR CHLDREN A CHANCE" and "UNITED WE STAND ... STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!!"

Jakari's slaying follows the July 1 shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Inkster, southwest of Detroit. Police in that case have said KaMiya Gross was killed in front of her father as retaliation from an earlier shooting. Two men are charged in her death.

Late Wednesday morning, police still were at Jakari's home, a corner unit of several attached row houses. The shots appeared to have been fired behind the home toward the second floor. One tore through an upstairs window, while another appeared to cleanly pass through the exterior brick wall two feet beneath the window.

Jakari was to enter the fourth grade at Spain Elementary this year, friends said.

Higgins is fed up with the crime that has been creeping over the past decade or so into the neighborhood. She's lived there about 15 years.

"It can get very dangerous," Higgins said. "These guys get away with a lot of stuff. There have been numerous break-ins.

"I haven't been to sleep. I don't feel safe at all. I didn't go to work today. I didn't want to leave my baby."

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Jul-30-2014 90 0
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith will be warming the bench this week.

The sports network suspended Smith for one week on Tuesday for televised remarks he made last week seeming to suggest that victims of domestic abuse sometimes shared responsibility for physical assault.

“Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week,” ESPN said in a brief statement. “He will return to ESPN next Wednesday.”

On Saturday, the Daily News reported that Smith is already planning to leave ESPN radio for Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio channel, where he will host his own show.

Smith has apologized several times for comments he made Friday on the sports debate show First Take, where Smith and fellow ESPN personality Skip Bayless discussed the two-game suspension the NFL levied on Ravens running back Ray Rice. Surveillance cameras from an Atlantic City casino showed Rice dragging his unconscious bride-to-be, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator, days before their marriage.

“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” Smith said. “If we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.”

In a long and sometimes confusing soliloquy, Smith went on to concede that Rice “probably deserves more than a two-game suspension.” Then Smith said “we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation.”

The comments prompted an immediate deluge of criticism, led by Smith’s ESPN colleague Michelle Beadle, who called him out on Twitter, saying “violence isn’t the victim’s issue, it’s the abuser’s.”

Smith tried to quell the outrage in a series of posts on Twitter, then in a longer statement, and finally in an on-air apology broadcast on Monday morning. After ESPN’s decision, Smith (@stephenasmith) tweeted out: My apology on @ESPN_FirstTake Monday morning speaks for itself. I accept ESPN’s Decision. See you all next Wednesday. God Bless!

Smith had made similar comments in 2012, when NFL receiver Chad Johnson was charged with domestic battery following a dispute with his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada. In response to that news, Smith suggested Lozada was exaggerating the incident and that “her actions have been completely glossed over.”

“I am sick and tired of men constantly being vilified and accused of things and we stop there,” Smith said. “I’m saying, ‘Can we go a step further?’ Since we want to dig all deeper into Chad Johnson, can we dig in deep to her?’ ”

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Jul-30-2014 87 0
The NYPD cops who shot and killed a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy who was allegedly armed — sparking mini street riots — will not face a criminal prosecution, the Daily News has learned.

Lawyers for the family of Kimani Gray, who died in an East Flatbush street on March 2013, notified a federal judge Tuesday that prosecutors informed them “that they are not pursuing criminal charges against the (officers) and will not be presenting case to the grand jury,” a court document shows.

The decision came after a recently-completed investigation ordered by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, sources said.

A DA spokeswoman confirmed the office will not present the case to a grand jury.

Police have said Gray pointed a loaded .38-caliber handgun at the officers and claimed he was ordered to drop it.

But his family and lawyers noted that out of seven bullets that struck the teen, three entered from his back, suggesting he was running away.

Dozens were arrested in subsequent protests, including Kimani’s sister, and at least two officers were lightly injured in the fracas.

The kid’s parents have filed a federal lawsuit naming the two cops involved in his death: Sergeant Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova.




NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Carol Gray (l.) lost her son, Kimani Gray, in the March 2013 shooting.
Fatimah Shakur speaks during a vigil held for Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, on March 13, 2013.

Police officers arrest a demonstrator during a march after a vigil for Kimani Gray on March 13, 2013.



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NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi.
Demonstrator Fatimah Shakur speaks during a vigil held for Kimani "Kiki" Gray in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in New York. The 16-year-old was shot to death on a Brooklyn street last Saturday night by plainclothes police officers who claim the youth pointed a .38-caliber revolver at them. (AP Photo/John Minchillo).
Police officers arrest a demonstrator during a march after a vigil held for Kimani "Kiki" Gray in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in New York. The 16-year-old was shot to death on a Brooklyn street last Saturday night by plainclothes police officers who claim the youth pointed a .38-caliber revolver at them. (AP Photo/John Minchillo).
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Julia Xanthos/New York Daily News

Lawyers of the defendants and the city recently asked a judge to put a stay on the suit until the conclusion of a potential criminal case.

One of the Grays attorneys, Michael Hueston, cited the DA opting to punt when asking to deny that request.

Insiders have described the chances of a grand jury action as slim all along.

“It’s what I’ve expected,” another family lawyer, Kenneth Montgomery, said of the DA’s decision. “I’m going by how long it has taken and the police’s initial statement that the shooting was justified.”

A DA spokeswoman did not immediately confirm the office’s determination.

“We’re going to make the results of police shooting cases known” after concluding investigations and meeting with victims’ relatives, Thompson said.

The issue of prosecuting police officers came into sharper focus recently when father-of-six Eric Garner died this month after an arresting officer put him in a chokehold. The Staten Island DA is probing that incident.


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Rebecca Lopez Jul-29-2014 119 0
For three-and-a-half minutes, Joe Wesson can be heard screaming and groaning in pain in a recording of his arrest.

The video was shot by a passerby who saw Wesson being arrested in June 2014.

You can hear the passerby commenting on the tape, “Damn, that is unnecessary."

Wesson is pictured already handcuffed and not resisting arrest. Officer Jesus Martinez stays on top of him and yanks Wesson's arm over his head several times.

"He actually was kneeing me in my back and pulled both my arms in the air like he was trying to break both of them," Wesson said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Martinez said Wesson was panhandling, and resisted arrest by swinging at the officer with closed fists and grabbing the officer's uniform, causing it to rip.

The officer said he had to use pepper spray but that was not captured on video, and Wesson disputes the account.

"I am 57 years old. I'm not thinking that it's that serious for a cop to really take that much force on one guy," Wesson said.

The officer did radio for assistance, but remained on top of Wesson even after other officers arrived. He eventually left Wesson lying on the concrete.

"Clearly, we have an issue here in the City of Dallas, and something needs to be addressed," said Daryl Kevin Washington, Wesson’s attorney.

Wesson was charged with resisting arrest.

The Dallas Police Department declined comment, saying there are ongoing internal and criminal investigations into the officer's actions.

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Jul-29-2014 112 0
The parents of a south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at school have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against school administrators.

The parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson of Valdosta sued Monday in Superior Court. Their lawsuit blames the Lowndes County school board for allowing Johnson to die "at the hands of one or more students" while at his high school during school hours.

Classmates found Johnson's body inside a rolled-up mat propped in a corner of the gym Jan. 10, 2013.

Sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident, having fallen into the mat and gotten stuck upside down.

Johnson's parents insist that someone killed him.

The school board's attorney, Warren Turner, did not immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.

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Jul-29-2014 199 0
A Liberian government official who succumbed to the Ebola virus had family living in Minnesota and was set to return to the U.S. next month, his grieving kin said.

Patrick Sawyer died Friday after suffering extreme bouts of vomiting and diarrhea on a flight from Liberia to Nigeria, leading to fears he may have spread the virus to fellow passengers.

Health workers were scrambling to track down any passengers or flight crew who may have been in contact with the 40-year-old as he flew from Liberia to Ghana to Togo before arriving in Lagos, where he was quarantined and eventually died.

His wife, Decontee Sawyer, said her husband had planned to return to their Coon Rapids home in August to attend two of his three daughters' birthdays, Minnesota's KSTP-TV reported.

The grieving widow said she hoped her husband's death served as a wake-up call about the global threat of the virus, which has already killed more than 670 people in West Africa.

"It's a global problem because Patrick could've easily come home with Ebola," Decontee Sawyer told the station.

"It's close, it's at our front door. It knocked down my front door."

Health experts said it was unlikely Sawyer infected others because Ebola spreads through body fluids such as urine, blood or saliva. Unlike the flu, it does not travel through the air.

So far, Nigerian authorities identified 59 people who came into contact with him, including airline employees and health workers, and tested 20 of them. None of them were positive, The Associated Press reported.

Still, the fact that he was able to board a plane while ill — coupled with the fact his sister recently died from Ebola — raised questions about passenger screening and the risk of the disease spreading through air travel, officials said.

Two other American aid workers in Liberia have fallen ill with the disease and were being cared for by doctors there.

Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and his colleague Nancy Writebol spent months fighting Ebola in that country before becoming sick themselves.

Brantly's wife and two young children lived with him in Liberia until recently, when they left to attend a wedding in the U.S.

They are now in Abilene, Tex., and were being monitored for signs of the disease, officials said.

Sawyer lived in Minnesota for about a decade before returning to Liberia in 2008 to work as a finance minister, KSTP-TV reported.

His wife said he was beloved in their local Liberian community. They planned to honor him with a memorial in September.

Liberian health workers in protective gear on the way to bury a woman who died of the virus in Foya, Lofa County, earlier this month. More than 670 people have died from the disease since its outbreak in February.

Decontee Sawyer said she was left cold by the thought of another family losing their loved one to the disease and hoped African health officials were doing all they can to fight the outbreak.

"I have three girls who will never get to know their father," she told KSTP-TV.

"This can't happen anymore," she added. "I don't want any more families going through what I'm going through.

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Jul-29-2014 182 0
Police are investigating whether a cop put a seven-months-pregnant woman in a chokehold while busting her for illegal grilling in Brooklyn — an incident caught on film.

Photos released Monday by an East New York advocacy group show Rosan Miller, 27, struggling with a cop who appears to have his arm around her neck.

Officers went to the home over the weekend because Miller was grilling on a public sidewalk in violation of local law, cops said. But a melee broke out that ended with her, her brother and husband all in handcuffs.

The brother, John Miller, was charged with harassment and obstruction of justice. Her husband, Moses Miller, 34, was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction. Rosan Miller got a summons for disorderly conduct.

When former city councilman Charles Barron heard, he called cops to complain and "expedite" the Millers' release, he said.

"This was all over a grill," Barron said. "This is about grilling in front of her house."

Former city councilman Charles Barron points out the woman's daughter can be seen watching her mother's arrest.

The seven-months-pregnant Rosan Miller struggles over the weekend.

The advocacy group, People Organizing and Working for Empowerment and Respect, released the photos.

Barron pointed out that the woman's daughter can be seen in the photo watching her mother being arrested.

Barron said one of the cops, a lieutenant, went to the building at 594 Bradford St. Thursday about a domestic incident involving another resident, returned on Saturday and encountered the grilling.

A case in which a man died while in an apparent chokehold has led to outcry in the city recently. Eric Garner, 43, of Staten Island, died July 17 after a confrontation with cops who were arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.

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